World su­per­com­puter rank­ings

Millennium Post - - BUSINESS -

BEI­JING: China now has more high-per­for­mance su­per­com­put­ers than ever be­fore, again best­ing the United States in global rank­ings, a su­per­com­puter track­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion said.

The stand­ing cor­re­sponds with China's grow­ing reputation as the global leader in su­per­com­put­ers, as the Asian power pre­pares to launch in June 2018 a pro­to­type ex­as­cale com­put­ing ma­chine -- a "su­per su­per­com­puter".

Some 202 of the world's fastest su­per­com­put­ers are in China -- com­pared with 143 in the US -- ac­cord­ing to Top500, a site that has tracked su­per­com­puter de­vel­op­ment for more than two decades.

The list, pro­duced twice a year, rates su­per­com­put­ers based on speed in a bench­mark test by ex­perts from Germany and the US.

"It is the largest num­ber of su­per­com­put­ers China has ever claimed on the Top500 rank­ing," the sur­vey said on Mon­day, "with the US pres­ence shrink­ing to its low­est level since the list's in­cep­tion."

Su­per­com­put­ers are vi­tal tools for ad­vanced sci­en­tific work be­cause of their abil­ity to per­form rapid cal­cu­la­tions for ev­ery­thing from weather fore­casts to mis­sile de­vel­op­ment.

China has not only over­taken the US in sheer num­bers, but also in ag­gre­gate per­for­mance. Two of the fastest ma­chines on the list -- the Sun­way Tai­hulight and Tianhe-2 (Milky­way-2) -- are in China.

Lo­cated at China's na­tional su­per­com­puter cen­tre in the eastern city of Wuxi, the Sun­way Tai­hulight is used for climate mod­el­ling and life sci­ence re­search.

Tak­ing the third and fourth slots on the per­for­mance list are su­per­com­put­ers from Switzer­land and Ja­pan, re­spec­tively, while the Amer­i­can "Ti­tan" sits at fifth.

The US led with 169 sys­tems to China's 160 just six months ago, but its per­for­mance fell while China's im­proved in a "re­ver­sal of for­tunes", the sur­vey said. How­ever, it re­mained well ahead of third-place Ja­pan, which has 35 ma­chines on the list.

China sur­passed the US in the Top500 list for the first time in 2016.

If China suc­cess­fully de­vel­ops a su­per su­per­com­puter pro­to­type this com­ing sum­mer, it will take the lead in an in­ter­na­tional race to a build a sys­tem ca­pa­ble of one quin­til­lion (a bil­lion bil­lion) cal­cu­la­tions per sec­ond.

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